The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that baseball fans struck by foul balls, while in stadium concession areas, can sue the ballpark.
Louis Maisonave was struck in the head while waiting in line at a Newark Bears game. He sued but a lower court dismissed his lawsuit. The lower court ruled the team had fulfilled its duty by providing protective netting around areas where fans were in danger. That is when the Supremes stepped in.
Baseball fans in New Jersey can expect to feel like they are at the zoo, with the baseball game being the exhibit behind a wall of netting and barriers. The cost of this lawsuit and the expense of surrounding the stadium in netting will also be passed down in the form of higher ticket prices for all fans. What if a MLB team wanted to move to Jersey? With the cost of protecting the fans and potential for future lawsuits makes Montreal a more likely home to a team than Newark.
You know that lawyers in every state are eyeing this ruling. If they smell blood, similar lawsuits could begin popping up at a ballpark near you. I can almost imagine a group of Lionel Hutz's chasing down foul balls as if they were an ambulance.
"Fans foreseeably and understandably let down their guard when they are in other areas of the stadium...Once the fan has disengaged him or herself from the activity on the field and has left the stands, that individual is no longer trying to catch foul balls or even necessarily watching the game. It is all harmless fun _ until that one foul ball comes screaming at the wrong time and in the wrong place." - Supreme Court of NJ rulingYou can read all 48 pages of the decision here.
(Source - 1010Wins)
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